South Western Railway (SWR) and Great Western Railway (GWR) have announced the trial of a powerful sanitising treatment which kills 99.99 per cent of viruses and bacteria on surfaces for extended periods of time.
The special treatment is sprayed inside train carriages overnight building to a fog which coats all surfaces and is proven to fight against Covid-19 for up to 28-days.
The trial is the latest addition in the operators’ already enhanced cleaning regimes to make travel on its networks as safe as possible for customers and staff.
The trial comes in the midst of the further easement of lockdown restrictions, and the introduction of mandatory face coverings, from Monday.
Interim managing director of SWR, Mark Hopwood, said: “We are working hard to keep those who need to travel safe on our services.
“This new trial is just one example of the steps we are taking to give customers confidence that they can travel safely, and will be another weapon in our cleaning armoury.”
The advice follows an update to the National Rail App which indicates to people searching for a journey if a specific train or station is looking busy.
It will take operational messages about busy trains and stations that are sent by frontline rail staff to control rooms and display these in passenger-friendly language on their journey planning websites and apps.
People will see a red or yellow warning triangle when they search their journey and, by clicking on it, will be able to find out more information and advice.
To minimise risks customers are also asked to wash their hands prior to and after their journey, and hand-sanitiser has been made available at many SWR stations.
South Western Railway is introducing the new Class 701 rolling stock
Also today, the first of South Western Railway’s near-£1 billion new fleet of modern suburban trains arrived on the network ahead of a full programme of testing beginning next month.
The ten-car Class 701 train is the first of the highly anticipated 90 strong fleet to arrive the network.
Stabled at Eastleigh, the train will be commissioned as part of Bombardier’s network testing regime to gain Office for Road and Rail certification for full passenger usage ahead of the fleet being introduced later this year.
Next month, SWR’s full programme of testing is also expected to get underway.
SWR will assess new systems specifically designed for the Class 701 trains, including new communications systems, environmentally friendly toilets, sensitive edge doors, regenerative braking and onboard features like Wi-Fi and at-seating charging points.